What is your name and your current occupation?
Brent J. Zorich and I am the Chief Technology Officer of BRENT ZORICH PRODUCTIONS, LLC.What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
One summer during industrial design school in the 90s at Ohio State I worked as a bouncer at a dueling piano bar named Howl at The Moon. I didn’t realize it when I took the summer gig, but occasionally throughout the night the staff had to get on stage and dance to songs from Grease… ah, the memories.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I played MADDEN growing up so getting to be a lead rigger on that was pretty rewarding. Seeing my name in Star Wars credits was really rewarding also. I loved sitting in dailies critiquing shots on TRANSFORMERS REVENGE OF THE FALLEN. My favorite intellectual property is actually HARRY POTTER; at Lucasfilm Animation Singapore I was in charge of arranging sequences for monthlies in addition to my regular tasks. The monthlies that I arranged were for HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE and I got to work with the raw footage of Daniel Radcliff and see the before and after… really fun. The music I used in the backdrop when I showed to sequence to the all staff was Eulogy by Tool. I remember being at Lucasfilm in San Francisco and opening up a script for Indiana Jones written by Steven Spielberg and realizing I made it! I loved going through executive training at Lucasfilm, it was a weeklong through the executive trainer, Larry Seal, and I was being prepped to run a studio. I also enjoyed being on the Lucasfilm Best Practices Steering Committee that set the direction for all digital assets in regards to Lucasfilm Animation, LucasArts, and Industrial Light and Magic. There were about ten of us on the committee. But, I’d have to say the most rewarding experience was in Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and my film game convergence group that I was in took the television version of Ahsoka Tanu, Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan, and I modified it so it would work in the Unreal Engine. We showed it directly to George Lucas when he came to see the studio in summer of 2008 and he couldn’t tell the difference between my Ahsoka rendering on the XBOX 360 and the version used on television.
How did you become interested in animation?
Three years old in summer of 1977, “A long time ago in a galaxy, far, far, away….” You’ll figure it out.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am from Columbus, Ohio and I got into the animation business by going to graduate school at ACCAD at Ohio State. Computer graphics were developed at Ohio State in the 1960’s by Charles Csuri and it was a pleasure to work with him.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
I am developing tools and technology to get my Intellectual Property, TIGER CHRONICLES, going. I am also working on the script as well as gathering investors. My tools are for sale via direct digital download on my company’s website, www.brentzorichproductions.com and my company has already turned a profit.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
Bringing digital assets to life.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
I’d have to say modelling and sculpting tends to be a little boring and tedious.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
I use Maya, Photoshop, HTML, C++, Python, MEL, HyperCam, and After Effects, Zbrush.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
George Lucas and Charles Csuri.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
Prior to animation I worked as an interior architect for the architectural design firms ranked number 1, Gensler, and number 2, NBBJ in the world with Fortune 50 clientele as well as The Republic of China. I love creating spaces as well.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Perfect your craft and don’t rush your student projects.